Dreaming of Sweet Lines


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this was a cold day

If you dont Know this next line, I aint tellin!!
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T
he 2 drops below scared me just a little…. both had significant airs onto technical terrain.

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New Packs!!!

new Ben Moon packs

So this spring me and my wife ordered new packs from Moon Climbing. We have now have used them for almost 6 months and couldn’t be happier! These packs come in one size and if you are of smaller build the pack may be a little tall for you. We ordered ours out of  a German climbing distributor cause we found they were always out of stock state side. Both packs cost us 208 euro with shipping.

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These packs are great, they come with a rope tarp, have great padding, front zipper to get into gear packed in the middle of pack, and a small storage pocket. I am able to pack quite a bit of gear in these packs, the above pic shows the test load I used to check size. There was plenty of room left over when all of it was crammed in.

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The packs waist and shoulder straps are padded really well but don’t add a lot of extra weight to the pack. The zippered stow pouch has plenty of room. The packs in general are really well made, the zippers are rugged, the nylon quite durable, and the buckles take a good beating.

My only complaint is that the compression straps could be longer and a top rope harness for trad days would be nice.

All in all you cant go wrong with these packs.

Holiday “shit” Shenanagins

well ….

The Columbus weekend is upon us and lets just say the climbing atrocities were stacking up today pretty quick. Within five minutes of showing up at a popular cliff I witnessed one gentleman almost deck because he un-clipped from  his tram, a belayer and his climber go swinging out into space because the climber while trammed into the belayer cleaned the last draw, and a woman top-roping a climb with enough cordlettes, 4′ slings, and “shit” to set anchors on 4 routes. As we moved on to the next cliff line the of “shit” shenanigans continued. People were climbing routes with so much “shit” on their harnesses it was a wonder how  they made it to the anchors, then when they got to the anchors they made a “shit” tangled mess. There was so much “shit”  wrapped around two bolts you couldn’t tell who was tied to what. People were doing all sorts of stupid “shit” while on the walls, clipping into adjacent routes to lower off, back cleaning in ground fall potential zones while top roping on one back clipped draw (ya you had to see it, took me a second to realize what was going on). The most obnoxious one I saw repeatedly was people cleaning overhung routes on rappel!

One of my biggest pet-peeves  is seeing climbers rapping off a over-hung climb to clean the gear. Not only is this incredibly time-consuming but it straight up dangerous!!!! Just how the hell do you think you are going to swing in 5 ft to the piece of gear in the rock, grab the gear , and still hold the rope? All the while trying  not look or act like a sketch ball…HA! right!!!  The worst is when people do this without a fire mans belay. I see this a lot and continually try to tell people (as politely as possible) how much of a fucking idiot there being!! No really, I try really hard to let people know in a polite way how unsafe this is.  There are a bunch of reasons this is bad, some I’ve just stated,  but I think the worst one is the fact your making a really simple task complicated. Haven’t you ever heard of “Keep it simple stupid!”  The more steps you add to a system the more likely to end up “Shits” creek.

Out side of the shenanigans, the crag was straight up bat “shit” crazy!!!! For the most part people were civil and every-one seemed to be enjoying their day. There were a lot of casual weekend climbers out and more than once I found myself getting edgy waiting on people goooiing sooooo slllooowwwwwww. It was hard but I bit my tongue, we all started somewhere and every one is out to get some good climbing in.

I gotta work tomorrow but for those of you climbing tomorrow “keep it simple stupid”

The Sweet Life

I created this blog a while ago and haven’t done any thing with it so I thought I would just start today. The reality is I should really be working but what fun is that?

Fall is here! Climbing in the north east is at its prime right now and I’ve been taking some time to put some unfinished business to rest at my local crag. I’m gonna admit it, I’m a number chaser. If I’m not pushing myself physically or mentally  I probably wouldn’t climb or ski.  That being said I went after some “easier ” climbs I haven’t done yet.

Let me tell you something about grades; THERE FUCKING BULLSHIT!!!

Just because you on-sight a grade or red-point a grade doesn’t mean shit. Climbing is so subjective and in your mind you will walk up to a climb and send it. I knew that some of the climbs I wanted to do were and still are gonna fight back.  There were some that i surprised myself and walked first burn or within 3 attempts, then there were the others…

one of those routes was “Fresh Squeezed”

This route Kicked me in the teeth, granted it took only 3 burns but they weren’t pretty to say the least. Every thing about this route was bad; the belay was on the edge of a pile of boulders, the first 12ft of the route involved more rattly holds then a bag of marbles, rope management was annoying, and at the top drag was a biotch.

On my first burn I couldn’t even figure out how to do the crux and was so covered in spiders I handed in my man card and aided to the top.

The next day I got on the fucker I was determined not to fail. Not wanting to die or in the least drop a rock on my lovely wife belaying me I aided to clip the 3rd bolt. I set up a good stance for her but could tell she wasn’t happy with me in the least. (side note ; I just had spent an hour and a half sending another not so pleasant route) I got on the route for a second burn and quickly dispatched the chossy boulder problem only to be stumped for 45 min trying to climb 5 ft of rock. That’s right 45 fucking minutes doing the same god damn move. Id hang there knowing my wife was being incredibly patient, wondering WTF!! I could hear it in her voice she was done, fuck it I was done! The rock didn’t make sense, there was no flow. The puzzle wasn’t coming together. I finally landed on a sequence that worked, as I climbed to the chains I yelled down “bebe are you ok with me doing this again”. I could tell she desperately wanted to say NO, and if she had I gladly would of walked away from this POS. But she knew me all to well, not putting this climb to rest today would mean coming back again, “ya go ahead”.

An hour later I’m setting up the rope and tying my shoes. I start to climb picking my way through the choss to the first hard move. My hands clutch a loose block I swear I could rip off if I tried, my feet are smearing on shit to avoid breaking a rock and sending me and it spitting off. I place my feet, drop knee, and pop for the lip. Blasphemies ensue as the rock cut into my hand and my feet go swinging. The wife yells up ” hey! leave the whores out of it ! they didn’t do anything to you!” I grunt let out a WHOOP! I climb to the crux, I really don’t want to fail. I climb it effortlessly, its precise, it has flow,  hands grasp the nothing holds, and feet stick the magical toe hook.  I send the route and am glad I don’t ever have to climb it again.

For me I wont brag about this climb, but  I will try to sucker my friends into trying it. Since then I’ve run laps on some of the classics to help my bruised ego heal, but I’m not going to forget this one. It took patients of a different sort to send, the type that says strength and skill doesn’t matter. The type that says grade doesn’t matter.

 

Its the type that looks you straight in the face and asks:

“Are you good enough?”